IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.


Cornelius Morgan, Postmaster and Justice of the Peace, is one of the prominent, respected and honored citizens of which the town of National boasts. He was born in Vermont, May 23, 1833, and is a self-made man in all that the word implies; whatever success he has met with in life is attributable to his own push and energy, as he has received no legacy from any source whatever. The parents of our subject were Cornelius and Hannah (Hartwell) Morgan, both of whom were natives of Massachusetts. After their marriage they moved to the state of New York and located at Parishvillie, St. Lawrence County, where they resided until their demise. There were eight children born to them, seven of whom are still living. They were earnest members of the Free Will Baptist Church. The grandfather of our subject served in the War of 1812 and figured prominently in the battle of Plattsburg, N.Y.

The subject of this biography was reared on a farm in St. Lawrence County, N.Y. from the time he was three years old until he was twenty-three, when he came to this county and located at McGregor, which then boasted only a few houses. Here he followed the trade of a carpenter and contractor, building houses all over the county and erecting two at Prairie du Chien, Wis.

In the year 1857 he was united in marriage with Miss Mary R. Hudson, a daughter of Washington and Roxana (Bagley) Hudson. This family came from Vermont to this township in the year 1845.

Mr. Morgan enlisted in Company E, Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteers, as a private and joined his regiment in Mississippi. He participated in the following engagements: At the charge and capture of the rebel Ft. Du Russy, Pleasant Hill, under General Banks, Kane River, Old Oaks, Lake Chicot, Ark., under Gen. A.J. Smith; the first day's fight at Tupelo and afterward at Old Town Creek; Nashville, under Gen. G.H. Thomas; and after steaming down the Ohio, Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers to Dauphine Island in Mobile Bay, in the battle of Fish River and Ft. Blakely. The regiment was discharged at Montgomery, Ala., and he was transferred to Compnay E, Twelfth Iowa Volunteers. He remained with this regiment until January 25, 1866, when he was honorably discharged. He was wounded by a bayonet at the charge of Ft. Du Russy, resulting in a running sore, which was a constant annoyance to him.

Mr. and Mrs. Morgan have five children, as follows: George L., Hugh B., Lewis D., Stella E. and James Garfield. Socially he is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. In political belief and action he is a stanch adherent to the Republican party. He has been Justice of the Peace for twenty-four years in a Democratic township; Township Clerk for twenty years; and a member of the School Board almost constantly for twenty-four years. When Harrison was elected President our subject was appointed Postmaster here and has since held that position.

source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties; Chicago: Chapman Pub. Co., 1894; pg 486-487
-transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall


The following additional information & photo is from Gary Morgan, great grandson of Cornelius Morgan III.

Cornelius Morgan III built the schoolhouse in National, served as town clerk of Farmersburg when it was founded, and he was National’s postmaster for years. In later years, he owned the hotel in National. He is buried there, as well. The photo of Cornelius was taken about 1922 on the porch of the hotel in National, by my grandmother, I believe. This would be about two years before he died.

Cornelius Morgan III ca1922
Cornelius Morgan III, ca1922

From the Potsdam, N.Y., Courier & Freeman of Sept. 21, 1898, column two of page two, under the heading “Parishville”. Transcribed exactly as it appeared, including grammar and punctuation errors.

“Cornelius Morgan, of National, Iowa, is in town on a two months visit with relatives and old friends. He left this place in May, 1856, when but 23 years of age and has not revisited his former home since. He was virtually raised in this town having come here when but three years old, his parents moving to town from Canada. His career in the west has been somewhat varied, he having engaged in farming; contracting and at present being proprietor of the Morgan House, a thriving hostelry in National. He is also a veteran of our civil war, having served his country faithfully for three years. His coming was a surprise to his relatives in this section, but none the less a happy one. Forty-two years is a long period of absence from one's old home and many changes have occurred. Mr. Morgan informed us that he has kept well posted on happenings in this county, having been a regular subscriber to the Courier & Freeman for over twenty-five years, and he says he looks with eagerness for its weekly visit. Mr. Morgan is a sturdy, well-preserved specimen of 65 year old manhood and says sickness is an unknown quantity with him.”


Born: 23 May 1833 in Waterford, Caledonia Co., VT
Removed, about 1846, to National, Iowa
Served in Civil War; wounded
Death:  7 July 1924 in McGregor (National), Clayton Co., Iowa
Burial:  c. 11 July 1924  National, Iowa, Cemetery
Married: 22 Sept 1859, to Mary Roxana Hudson of McGregor, Iowa.
Their children:
1. George Leeman, born Nov. 10, 1859 (also have seen 1858)
2. Charles
3. Cornelius F. [could stand for “Fourth,” may be IV],  born 1863, d. Nov. 27, 1951 (in Long Beach, CA, veteran's hospital)
4. Lucy
5. Mary, 1869
6. Hugh, April 10, 1873
7. Lewis D., Dec. 16, 1874
8. Stella E., Nov. 5, 1877
9. James Garfield, May 28, 1880
10. Isadore A.


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